Here's how parents can teach kids about menstrual hygiene and sexual health

Updated on Nov 17, 2022 09:33 AM IST

Talking to your child about sexual health and menstruation will help them make wise decisions both now and in the future for all the reasons. Here are some tips for parents

Here's how parents can teach kids about menstrual hygiene and sexual health (Sora Shimazaki)
Here's how parents can teach kids about menstrual hygiene and sexual health (Sora Shimazaki)
ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi

The open discussion about menstruation and puberty with boys and girls would be a promising step by parents toward reducing feelings of shame and discomfort around this topic. Children may already be familiar with some advanced concepts as they approach puberty however, since not all of this information is trustworthy, parents still have a crucial role to play in discussing puberty.

Your child views you as a positive role model and a reliable source of knowledge where considering how kind and trustworthy you are to them, they want to learn about your health from you. If you are an approachable adult, your child will feel at ease approaching you and talking to your child about sexual health and menstruation will help them make wise decisions both now and in the future for all the reasons.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Neelima Kamrah, Principal of KIIT World School Gurugram, advised, “Waiting for your children to come to you with inquiries about their changing bodies is not advisable. Especially if they don't want to discuss delicate subjects with you. Talk to your children about the physical changes when they enter puberty. Describe the significance of girls maintaining good menstrual hygiene even before their periods begin. These conversations should begin earlier than parents may believe.”

She suggested, “Teachers and school staff should be trained to provide timely information and promote menstrual health. Comprehensive sex education teaches a lot more than preventing pregnancy and STDs; when done right, it imparts age-appropriate lessons on body, relationship, communication violence prevention, decision-making and many others. This will also aid in lowering teen pregnancy, STD, and sexual assault rates.”

According to Kirti Acharjee, Co-Founder of HealthFab, children are probably experiencing the changes that come with puberty, such as mood swings and testing out independence. She recommended, "Describe the process of menstruation in detail. Let them know what it is and why women get it. They will be more equipped to cognitively accept menstruation as a "normal" aspect of life as a result. Explain the importance of birth control availability for all people without discrimination or stigma. It's crucial that children comprehend that having sex doesn't imply having an STD or being pregnant. You should also describe unprotected sex and the health problems it causes. In general, deciding what facts you want your child to know is a fantastic place to start."

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